Community groups, labor unions and civic leaders are expected to head to Beacon Hill today to meet with state legislators and to advocate for their ideas on how to better fund and improve the debt-ridden public transportation system across Massachusetts.

"Rider groups from across the state are starting to come together around these [transportation] issues, and transit workers are also getting behind it because they see that the system is way under funded, and that our transportation is not working," said Lee Matsueda, a spokesman for the T Riders Union.

"We want [Gov. Deval Patrick] and the legislature to hear us loud and clear," he said.

The centerpiece of the gathering will be a report released by Public Transit-Public Good, a campaign of the Green Justice Coalition, that will focus on transit funding and reform solutions that the advocates believe will grow the state's economy, cut carbon emissions, ensure accessibility, and increase racial, economic, and regional equity across the state.

"Public transit is a lifeline for our communities. People who cannot drive depend on transit to get the to work, doctors’ appointments, shopping, and social engagements. Others turn to transit to help them protect the environment or avoid traffic-induced stress," said Richard Rogers, chair of Community Labor United, one of the groups in the coalition. "Public transit can bring people together or keep us apart. We offer proposals that will help it bring us together, so that it can drive our state's economy and help us meet our environmental goals."

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